Highlight inks pact with Fifty Cannon

Newell's prod'n co. in 3-year output deal with distrib

BERLIN — Swiss-German distrib Highlight Communications has signed a three-year output deal with British director Mike Newell’s Fifty Cannon production label.

Highlight will take all rights for Germany, Austria and Switzerland for product that is owned and controlled by Cannon. In addition, the companies plan to co-produce between six and nine features during the terms of the agreement. Highlight will have an option on certain European rights.

These projects will be financed by Highlight and M.M. Media Capital, which late last year signed an agreement to provide Fifty Cannon with a $300 million production financing facility.

Talking about the choice of partner, Fifty Cannon’s president Cameron Jones told Daily Variety: “We have become extremely sensitive to the burgeoning importance of the German market. We wanted to work with a partner that has a feel for what we see as the emerging pan-European market. We see a lot of synergies between territories and think that the days are gone when you do a deal in France and Spain.”

Highlight Communications which went public in May has an output deal in place with Artisan and is keen to expand its activities.

“We are building a worldwide company together that will be responsive to the needs of both artists and major U.S. distributors,” said Kristina Dubin, Highlight’s L.A.-based president of acquisitions.

Newell is attached to the action drama “Shanghai” for Phoenix Pictures and Columbia TriStar.

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